By Zac B. Sarian

Three agricultural divisions of two multinational companies have been combined to form a standalone agricultural company known as Corteva Agriscience. The new company is envisioned to maintain leading positions in seed technologies, crop protection and digital agriculture.

Merged into one formidable company are DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer, and Dow Agrisciences.

In the Philippines, the new company will intensify its programs in hybrid rice and
hybrid corn technologies. Pioneer has long been a leading producer and distributor of hybrid corn seeds as well as hybrid rice.

James Collins Jr. (right) talking to Corteva staff upon his arrival at the EduFarm.

As one of its first steps, it has established the Corteva EduFarm in Pura, Tarlac, which was launched on June 15, attended by James Collins, Jr., the company’s chief operating officer (COO).

The event was attended by more than a hundred rice and corn farmers from Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley. The main aim of the EduFarm is to showcase to the farmers the new technologies that they can use in their farming to produce higher yield with higher quality at affordable or profitable cost.

In matters of protecting the rice plants from pesky weeds, Corteva has an arsenal of herbicides that can control important grasses, sedges and broadleaves. In both rice and corn seeds, Corteva owns leading brands like Pioneer, Mycogene, and the newly launched Brevant seed brands. It also has award-winning crop protection products such as Aproach Prima fungicide and Quelex herbicide with Arylex active. The company will continue bringing new products to market through their solid pipeline of active chemistry and technologies, according to Collins.

During the field day, the attendees were briefed on the current favorite varieties as well as the variety soon to be released.

Called the “Future Hybrid”, rice is PHB83 which is resistant to lodging, hence it is less affected by strong winds. It has a potential yield of 13 metric tons or 260 cavans per hectare. What’s more, it has good eating quality.

Of course, there are the current hybrids which have their own special traits. Delicioso (PHB73), for instance, is soft and very delicious when cooked, qualities that many consumers want. For long grains, the variety to plant is PHB79 while the Yield Champ (PHB77) is high-yielding with a potential yield of 13 tons per hectare.

Hybrid corn

Adrian Manza, Corteva’s corn specialist, was most excited in telling us about P3530YHR, the hybrid corn of the future which has a potential yield of 14 tons per hectare. That’s 280 cavans of 50 kilos per sack. Aside from its high yield, the ears have high shelling recovery of 80 percent. The grains are of high quality, too. The variety is early-medium, maturing at 108 to 115 days after planting. It is tolerant to lodging and is also suitable for high density planting.

Adrian Manza showing the big ears of P3530YHR, the hybrid of the future.

Another outstanding hybrid corn is P3774YHR which produces big kernels that are compact. The ears are big with as many as 18 rows of kernels compared to many other varieties which may only have 12 or 14 rows.

Another good performer is P4097YHR which has big kernels that are heavy. It has a potential yield of 14 tons per hectare with a maturity of 116 to 120 days from planting. It has large cobs and excellent ear filling.

Seed applied tech

Corteva is also proud of its seed-applied technologies that can protect the plants in their early stages. The EarlyShield treatment provides complete protection from soil-borne diseases and seedling pests from 0 to 30 days after planting. The diseases include seedling blight, damping off and seedling rot. In addition, the treatment results in improved seedling vigor.

Awardee at the field day

Meanwhile, we met a successful rice and corn farmer at the field day who was last year’s National Gawad Saka awardee for corn production. He is Felix G. Ancheta of Cauayan, Isabela, who planted five hectares to P3774, harvesting an average of 12 tons per hectare.

At the time of harvest, the going price per kilo of yellow corn was P13. However, Ancheta did not sell his corn because he used his feed for mixing for his own piggery. He has a 15-sow piggery with 150 fatteners most of the time.

During the dry season, he plants hybrid rice on 10 hectares. On the average, he gets 9 tons of palay per hectare. He has mechanized his farming. He has a corn seeder pulled by a tractor which can plant a hectare in 30 minutes. He has two Kubota tractors for his farming operations. While he studied business administration in college, he also took up a vocational course in auto diesel mechanic which has been handy in his mechanized farming.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s August 2018 issue.